SEASON 4, EPISODE 417 | AIRED ON 06/09/13

Oprah and Karen Armstrong: Losing Faith, Finding God

Oprah sits down with Karen Armstrong—a best-selling author, a former Roman Catholic nun and a world-renowned religious scholar—to discuss her memoir The Spiral Staircase. Karen relates the details of her fascinating spiritual journey, which began when she joined a convent at the tender age of 17. Hoping to forge a deep connection to God, her inspiration was met with harsh disillusionment. She says she was deeply unhappy as a nun and unable to pray. Seven years after entering, she left the convent feeling like a failure, with her future in question. She avoided all organized religion for more than a decade but then returned to the subject years later as a writer and a scholar after experiencing an "awakening" while on assignment in Jerusalem.